Nationalism, Methodological

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

1 Scopus citations


Methodological nationalism is when social scientists naturalize the state or nation as a unit of analysis in their research. That is, it is when scholars assume or imply that the territorial states or national communities are a priori entities, rather than socially constructed concepts. There is no dedicated body of literature that analyzes methodological nationalism, but when explicitly engaged by geographers, it is critiqued for a number of overlapping reasons. First, geographers suggest that methodological nationalism is problematic because it theoretically misrepresents and depoliticizes the global production of space and spatial relations. Second, it is critiqued as a form of nationalism that simultaneously clouds objective analysis and provincializes academic inquiry by (re)entrenching state-contained academic disciplines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Second Edition
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022955
ISBN (Print)9780081022962
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Constructivism
  • Geopolitics
  • Nation
  • Nationalism
  • Political geography
  • State
  • State system
  • Statism
  • Territorial trap
  • Territory
  • World systems theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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